'Tis the season for intending to do better in the new year—but research shows that of the 40 percent of Americans who make New Year's resolutions annually, only 46 percent are still adhering to those resolutions six months later. That said, you can make a lasting change for the better by resolving to make your workplace flexible in the new year. The need for flexibility is pressing, and the payoffs are huge.
The demand for workplace flexibility cannot be understated. Our research found that 96 percent of workers nationwide need some sort of flexibility but only 42 have access to the type they need. Furthermore, only 19 percent have access to a range of flexibility options, even though the average worker needs 2.5 flexibility types to work well, to take care of themselves, and to take care of their loved ones.
Closing that flexibility gap isn't just good for employees, though; it's good for business, too. The benefits of flex are almost too numerous to list, but one of the biggest is the increase to employee productivity. Some workers use Remote or DeskPlus to find a location where they can maximize their focus. Others use TimeShift to capitalize on the hours of the day when they're most efficient, which don't always align with the typical 9-to-5 business day. With the power of flex, one company's employees turned in the equivalent of nearly six days of work in just five (and became significantly less likely to resign).
The good news doesn't end there: Flexibility also provides a huge boon to talent attraction, engagement, and retention. Again and again, flex ranks as one of the most important deciding factors for job-seekers, no matter if they're Gen Z or Baby Boomers, and so the companies that will succeed in this Human Era are the ones who put flex front and center in their employee value proposition.
As for engagement, our research shows employees with access to flex are 16 percent more likely to feel their ideas are valued at work, 20 percent more likely to believe their work environment fosters diverse points of view, 20 percent more likely to feel their employer cares about them, and 26 percent more likely to feel their company is doing what it takes to improve gender diversity. As as for retention, employees with access to flex are half as likely to report being dissatisfied at work than those without, and half of all employees would leave their job to find a more flexible workplace. Employees who can access flex aren't just more likely to stay in place, though; they're also more likely to advocate for their employer, with employee net promoter scores (eNPS) charting 48 points higher than those without.
Luckily, you don't have to take on a flexibility resolution alone: Werk can help your organization every step of the way. The first step is to gather data, without which flexibility policies head straight for the flex glass cliff. Our first-of-its-kind people analytics platform uses proprietary algorithms to determine which of your employees need which type of flexibility.
With this data—presented in overall terms and in specific breakdowns by gender, age group, department, etc.—you can adopt flexibility policies that actually address the varied needs of your workforce. You'll be implementing a structured and sustainable solution, instead of making guesses or shoehorning in some sort of one-size-fits-all policy. And with the resulting improvements to your employees' morale, your company's productivity, and your ledger's bottom line, perhaps you won't even need to make a New Year's resolution next year.